BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — Three Anthony Wayne gymnasts, along with one from Maumee, qualified for the state meet at Hilliard Bradley High School in suburban Columbus, scheduled for this Friday and Saturday.
The AW state qualifiers are junior Hannah Chen, sophomore Emily Liskai and freshman Brooke Miller, while sophomore Courtney Crawford qualified for the Panthers.
Chen and Liskai will compete in every event at state, plus the all-around, while Miller is an individual qualifier on the vault. Crawford will compete on the beam.
Miller earned third place and qualified for state on the vault with a 9.025.
“This was her highest vault score of the season,” said AW coach Faye Smith. “Even though she is only a freshman, Brooke worked really hard this year at each and every practice to be the best she could be on every event.
“She focused a lot on vault in the week leading up to the meet and it definitely showed. She also did well in the all-around, placing 10th overall with a 33.9.”
Liskai placed third and qualified for state in the all-around with a 35.125. She also qualified on bars (fifth place), beam (fifth) and floor (second).
“She was out for an injury for part of the season and really focused on rehabbing and getting stronger so she was able to come out strong at both the NLL and district meets,” Smith said.
“She did a great job motivating her teammates this year and loved to lead team cheers throughout the season.”
Chen earned fourth place and qualified for state in the all-around with a 34.775. She also qualified on the vault (fourth place).
“Hannah came into this season with some new powerful skills on each event and showed them off with grace and confidence at every meet,” Smith said.
“She was a strong leader on the team and contributed to the overall team score at every meet this season. This is Hannah’s third year going to state and second year going to state in the all-around.
“We are very proud of these three girls and all they have accomplished throughout the season, and most especially at the district meet.”
Maumee gymnast Court-ney Crawford scored a 9.075 on the beam to advance to state.
At the district meet, AW scored 127.125 points to finish second, but that was not good enough to advance as a team to state.
“They set goals of being confident, consistent and cheerful this year and it showed at the district meet,” Smith said.
“Each girl worked hard to do her best at the meet with sophomore Kennedy Kehres (team co-captain), senior Mady Towles and freshman Kara Wagner also contributing to the overall team score.”
Anthony Wayne also won the sportsmanship team of the district award.
“As coaches, we could not be prouder of how the team supports not only each other, but also every competitor they encounter at their meets,” Smith said.
Perrysburg, behind seniors Emma Gardner, Katie Ruby and Genevieve Thomas, juniors Grace Leonard, Anna Miller and Emma Palmer, sophomores Allison Kulmatycki and Raegan Ruehle and freshmen Grace Helton and Ava Kincaid, qualified for state as a team.
The Yellow Jackets, coached by Michelle Caufman, won the NLL title against second-place AW, 141.825-136.4. Anthony Wayne and Perrysburg took seven of the eight first-team NLL selections.
Maumee, coached by Megan Wojtlowiak, was third with 128.6 points, followed by Northview (124.225), Springfield (117.775) and Napoleon (141.6).
Liskai, Chen, Helton, Thomas, Kincaid and Leonard are joined on the league first team by Northview sophomore Taylee Wochowiak.
Crawford, Maumee freshman Maleia Kreiner and AW sophomore Kennedy Kehres made the second team, along with Palmer, Ruehle and Northview sophomore Cayla Hoffman.
Gardner, Brooke Miller and Anna Miller were named to the third team.